Two Buckeye Valley Local School District principals will resign effective July 31, it was announced at the district’s Board of Education meeting April 15.
The resignations of Jim Albanese, Buckeye Valley High School principal, and Barry Lyons, principal of West Elementary were approved as part of the board’s new business.
The district’s first virtual board meeting was not recorded, but Superintendent Andrew Miller sent a letter out to the BV community in Ashley, Ostrander, and the townships within the district.
Albanese and Lyons were part of a retire/rehire program, and both principals were made aware the program was ending.
“Retire/rehire is when an employee retires and then collects their pension along with a salary negotiated from the district,” Miller wrote. “However, the program was not intended to continue indefinitely and has served its purpose of continuity. We have been phasing out the retire/rehire program in order to allow opportunities for growth of other talented individuals both from within and from outside our organization.”
Miller wrote, “Finances did not play a role in discontinuing the retire/rehire.” However, he said, “The retire/rehire practice is not as financially beneficial for school districts as it was five or so years ago.” Initially, districts did not have to pay benefits, but that has since changed.
“There are some potential savings with the retire/rehire process as the employees work on a reduced salary, but this is negated when employees work on a retire/rehire contract for several years,” Miller wrote.
Buckeye Valley is in the midst of “planning the improvements, changes in culture and education that will take place over the next three to five years, beginning in 2021,” Miller wrote. “I believe it is only fair that the next building leaders be involved in the strategic plan that they will be responsible for carrying out. Our intent is to continually improve both the culture at BV and the educational opportunities for our students.”
Miller went on to say he had hoped to recognize Albanese and Lyons by the end of the school year.
“Both individuals have been in their positions several years, shown dedication to the students at Buckeye Valley, and worked tirelessly to move their buildings forward,” Miller wrote. “I want to reassure the Buckeye Valley community that new and talented leaders will be in place before the next school year, who will carry on a legacy of passion for helping our students and community.”
The letter was sent out before Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that all schools will remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote learning will continue for the remainder of the school year, as it has since March 17. The last day of school for underclassmen is May 27.
The next board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 20.
Buckeye Valley will have a “Virtual Graduation Ceremony” for the Class of 2020 at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 23. The link will be provided in May.
A physical graduation ceremony is also planned for 10 a.m. Sunday, June 28, at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Gray Chapel.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.